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State comptroller's office: Village of Clinton susceptible to fiscal stress

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - The Office of the State Comptroller has released its report on fiscal stress of 482 villages in the state and found one Oneida County village is teetering at the brink of serious financial difficulties.

The Village of Clinton is named as a village susceptible to fiscal stress, coming in with a fiscal score of 53.3 percent. A score of 55 percent would move the village into the moderate stress category.

The score is determined by evaluating local governments on 23 financial and environmental indicators and creating an overall fiscal stress score.

Villages listed as susceptible to fiscal stress are those with a fiscal stress score greater than 45 percent; moderate stress would be villages equal to or greater than 55 percent, and significant stress is assigned to villages with a score equal to or greater than 65 percent.

The scores are based on a fiscal year ending on May 31, 2013. Of the villages studied in the analysis, only 15 are in some degree of fiscal stress, with the majority being downstate.

According to the comptroller's office, all of the fiscally stressed villages struggled with low-fund balance, and nearly all had operating deficits. However, more than half of the villages not on the list showing some degree of fiscal stress also carried low-fund balance and nearly two-third had difficulties with operating deficits.

Low liquidity and short-term debt are more common among fiscally stressed villages. Thirteen of the 15 stressed villages showed low liquidity. Forty percent of the fiscally stressed villages relied on short-term debt.

Fixed costs, such as personal services and employee benefits as a percentage of revenues and debt service as a percentage of revenues, are somewhat higher among fiscally stressed villages. Two-third of fiscally stressed villages scored high on at least one of these indicators.

Fiscally stressed upstate villages tend to have greater property values and lower child poverty rates than other upstate villages, the comptroller's office said in the report.

Villages in the area and their fiscal and environmental scores are as followed. An environmental score is determined by evaluating common indicators such as a shrinking employment base, low or declining property values, declining population, high child poverty and an aging population. The higher a village's score is, the more it is dealing with these factors.

If a village is not listed, it may not have filed its annual financial report or may have data that is inconclusive for a fiscal score.

Barneveld: The fiscal score is listed as 3.3 percent. The environmental score is 31.3 percent.

Boonville: The fiscal score is 6.7 percent. The environmental score is 35 percent.

Camden: The fiscal score is 12.5 percent. The environmental score is 25 percent.

Clinton: The fiscal score is 53.3 percent. The environmental score is 25 percent.

Dolgeville: The fiscal score is 6.7 percent. The environmental score is 25 percent.

Frankfort: The fiscal score is 22.5 percent. The environmental score is 19.2 percent.

Hamilton: The fiscal score is zero percent. The environmental score is 9.2 percent.

Herkimer: The fiscal score is 32.1 percent. The environmental score is 26.7 percent.

Holland Patent: The fiscal score is 25.8 percent. The environmental score is 32.5 percent.

Ilion: The fiscal score is 12.5 percent. The environmental score is 33.3 percent.

Lowville: The fiscal score is 3.3 percent. The environmental score is 32.5 percent.

Madison: The fiscal score is 1.7 percent. The environmental score is 31.7 percent.

Mohawk: The fiscal score is zero percent. The environmental score is 16.7 percent.

Munnsville: The fiscal score is 6.7 percent. The environmental score is 9.2 percent.

New Berlin: The fiscal score is 3.3 percent. The environmental score is 24.2 percent.

New Hartford: The fiscal score is 9.6 percent. The environmental score is 27.5 percent.

New York Mills: The fiscal score is 19.2 percent. The environmental score is 12.5 percent.

Oneida Castle: The fiscal score is 22.1 percent. The environmental score is 27.5 percent.

Oriskany: The fiscal score is 19.2 percent. The environmental score is 17.5 percent.

Oriskany Falls: The fiscal score is 17.5 percent. The environmental score is 17.5 percent.

Oxford: The fiscal score is 14.2 percent. The environmental score is 26.7 percent.

Poland: The fiscal score is 3.3 percent. The environmental score is 21.7 percent.

Remsen: The fiscal score is 5.0 percent. The environmental score is 35 percent.

Sherburne: The fiscal score is 10 percent. The environmental score is 20.8 percent.

Sylvan Beach: The fiscal score is 24.2 percent. The environmental score is 30 percent.

Vernon: The fiscal score is 23.8 percent. The environmental score is 20 percent.

Waterville: The fiscal score is 5 percent. The environmental score is 30 percent.

Whitesboro: The fiscal score is zero percent. The environmental score is 27.5 percent.

Yorkville: The fiscal score is 20.8 percent. The environmental score is 25 percent.

To read the comptroller's report on fiscally stressed villages, click here. For a complete list of villages and their fiscal scores, click here.

 

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